Q: How can you tell if a deal is too good to be true?

Brad: If a popular product is on sale at one website that you’ve never heard for much less than anywhere else, it might be too good to be true. If you see a product like this, it’s a good idea to do some basic research about the website.

Can you find reviews of the site?

Does the website look like it was created in a rush, with poor formatting, and copy that doesn’t make sense?

If the answer is yes, it is very likely you are on a phishing website created to steal your personal information.

On the other hand, the site may be a real retailer, but if the price is much less than you are seeing elsewhere, double-check to make sure you understand the condition of the item you are purchasing. Refurbished or open-box items can be a good deal, but only if you know what you are getting.

Q: What’s the easiest way to compare prices?

Brad: Google Shopping is a great tool for price comparisons. However, it isn’t perfect. Always make sure you click into the Google Shopping page. The search results that show on the main page are frequently ad-based, meaning they may or may not be the lowest price. Also, sometimes Amazon prices are not included, so it is a good idea to do an extra search there. Additionally, the prices you see may or may not include additional promo codes, and shipping information can be inaccurate. Click through to the individual retailer sites to make sure you are getting the full story.